Monday, November 2, 2009

Memory Jogs

Music is powerful memory tool. I can still remember the address of my family's home from my kindergarten year, since I learned it to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". When a song I haven't heard in years comes on the radio, I can still remember all the lyrics.

Music can also have powerful memories associated with them. Roxie talked about this before. Those memories can, of course, have positive connotations, but they can also have negative, which makes them impossible to listen to ever again.

Right now, there are a handful of songs I will probably never be able to listen to again.

For example:

"The Reason" by Hoobastank - While we'd known each other for several weeks, it was only our second or third date. In the driveway of his friend's house where we'd had dinner and watched a movie, he hugged me and said "I think I'm falling in love with you." As he was driving me home, he played this song and said "This reminds me of you." Say what? It was really awkward because I didn't know why a song about turning his life around because of someone, especially when I didn't think he was all that off track, would make him think of me. It's a lot of responsibility so early on - was I really that much an influence on him so quickly? It was all going so fast. We had a little talk about it after we got back to my place, but were done for good about six weeks later. Every time I hear even a snippet of that song, the awkwardness of that moment is fresh in my mind.

The entire "Everything You Want" album by Vertical Horizon - One thing I loved about the ex-fiance was how much we talked. We could and often did talk for hours. One night we decided to talk about us, but we both lived with other people and needed somewhere private to talk. So, we drove to a parking lot and just sat in my car. We talked so long that we probably listened to that album, simply because it was in my CD player, at least four times. Because of how things ended with us, this album was a reminder of all the failed talks we had. The good news about not ever listening to it again is that I never really loved it in the first place, so no big loss.

There are several other songs that remind me of specific people, places, and things. Sometimes it's hard to listen to them, sometimes it's not. Sometimes, it would be easier to erase one's memory, like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but since memories and experiences make us who we are today, it's a actually a good thing to keep them around. And there's a lot more music I can listen to without the ones I can't handle anymore.

Anything you can't listen to anymore?